¡Viva la Cultura!

It's fiesta time, y'all

"It's undoubtable how much the Mexican culture has ingrained and weaved itself into American culture," Vic Macias tells SFR.

The manager of special events at Santa Fe's favorite (only?) living history museum, El Rancho de las Golondrinas, Macias has just put the final touches on this weekend's ¡Viva México! festival. The event, now in its 12th year, is a celebration of Mexican culture and its deep ties to New Mexico's history.

Attendees can feast on offerings from local Mexican restaurants; be captivated by 10 entertainers, including mariachi singer Carlos Medina on Saturday and Norteño band La Fuerza Del Valle on Sunday; as well as take part in all the museum's regular activities and demonstrations.

Festival-goers can also shop at a special mercado featuring wares from the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Chihuahua and Sonora. This lies at the heart of the event, and the festival blossomed out of what was originally a chance for Mexican artisans who traveled to Santa Fe for the International Folk Art Market to sell their leftover products before heading home.

For the first time ever, you'll also find cervezas Méxicanas (Mexican beers, for you non-Spanish speakers) thanks to a sponsorship from Pojoaque's Kokoman Fine Wines & Liquor.

"It's exciting," Macias says. "We've been getting that request every year."

Aside from the big fiesta, ¡Viva México! reminds New Mexicans the state used to be a Mexican territory and promotes unity between both sides of the border. And while festival planners say they don't like to get political, Macias admits the current climate in the US has made this lesson a valuable one.

"It's definitely one of the most important parts of it now," he explains. "Every year it's been getting more and more popular, because people [here] really like Mexico and they like Mexican culture. It gives people a chance to kind of go to Mexico without going to Mexico. Mexico is coming to them."

And we're gonna welcome it. (Nicole Madrid)

¡Viva México! Festival
10 am-4 pm Saturday July 20 and Sunday July 21.
$6-$8; 12 and under free.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas
334 Los Pinos Road, 471-2261

Don’t Stop

New Mexico Actors Lab presents a satisfying staging once again with Stop Kiss, a contemporary play by Diana Son that follows Sara (Joey Beth Gilbert) and Callie (Tallis Rose, visiting her former home from Chicago), two new friends in New York City who dance that intricate dance of two women who have never dated a woman but who now undeniably want to. We learn right away that when they eventually share their first kiss, they are brutally attacked and Sara is sent into a coma—but the timeline jumps back and forth through time to provide a story that is alternately funny, charming, infuriating and poignant. It's another home run for the theater company we've come to invariably trust with our evenings. See our full review at SFReporter.com. (Charlotte Jusinski)

Stop Kiss
7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday July 18-20 and 2 pm Sunday July 21.
$25. Teatro Paraguas
3205 Calle Marie, 424-1601.

Space: The Final Something or Other

Thank goodness for Albuquerque's Alien Space Kitchen, an ultra-catchy throwback pop-punk act that sounds like XRaySpex meeting Descendents and then asking Joey and Johnny Ramone for songwriting tips. Lo-fi? Sure—but kickass. ASK has also released a steady stream of short form theme albums of late, dubbed the ASK EP PROJECT, with some focused on a particular type of music, others on who even knows what yet. Two volumes are already out there (you can find out more at alienspacekitchen.com), with more to come, so while one never really knows a performance will look like, one knows it's probably gonna be a good time. (ADV)

Alien Space Kitchen with Sweet Nothin'
8 pm Friday July 19. Free.
Mine Shaft Tavern
2846 Hwy. 14, Madrid, 473-0743.

Bye, Bye, Brothers

So it's come to this—ppoacher ppoacher singer-songwriter-harp aficionado Brothers Brothers is calling it quits on Santa Fe and moving on. We get it—we do—but given their contributions to local music as a performer, promoter and all-around champ, it's a pretty major loss. Freak folk feels too reductive a description given Brothers' commitment to learning about musics of the world (African drumming and gamelan, to name just a couple), but there's a magnetic weirdness and vulnerability on display honed over years of experimentation and craft that we're gonna miss. Catch ppoacher ppoacher, probably for the last time in town (unless they come visit), alongside Future Scars lead Eliza Lutz' solo project Scissor Lift, Albuquerque solo songwriting maven Glitter Vomit (best name ever) and folk feelings-feeler Tom Foe.(ADV)

ppoacher ppoacher with Scissor Lift, Tom For and Glitter Vomit
8 pm Tuesday July 23. $5-$10.
2889 Trades West Road.